Westmoreland County girls basketball notebook: Yough in playoff hunt

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Yough? In a section race?

Believe it.

The Cougars girls basketball team is in a three-way tie for second place in a jam-packed Section 4-3A.

Yough is 6-8 overall and 3-2 in section after winning three of its last six games.

Section wins over Waynesburg (44-38) and McGuffey (39-23) moved the Cougars into contention in a section that has Waynesburg in first at 3-1, followed by Charleroi, South Park and Yough all at 3-2. McGuffey is 2-3.

Yough is 4-4 since Christmas.

The team has not made the WPIAL playoffs since 2009-10, which also was the last year it had a winning record (11-8).

Yough was 4-10 through 14 games last year and went on to finish fifth, two games out of a potential playoff berth.

Milestone for Brozeski

It came and went with little — OK, zero — fanfare, but Brian Brozeski wouldn’t have it any other way.

The veteran Norwin coach collected his 200th victory when the Knights (13-1) defeated North Allegheny, 53-32, on Jan. 3.

Brozeski, whose team is ranked No. 1 in WPIAL Class 6A and No. 3 in the state, is 204-71 in 12 seasons leading the team.

Latrobe carrying on

When standout senior center Emma Blair went down with a season-ending injury three games into the season, some people thought the sky was falling in Latrobe.

But the Wildcats (10-5) didn’t rush into the panic room.

The team has recovered nicely. The Wildcats are 7-4 without Blair.

The return of junior point guard Elle Snyder was a shot in the arm. Snyder, who had 34 points and 10 3-pointers in a game, has teamed with unheralded senior swing player Camille Dominick to keep Latrobe in playoff contention.

With Snyder, Latrobe is 6-3.

“We are different without Emma,” coach Mark Burkhardt said. “The girls stayed positive and continued to play. We have to work a little harder to get shots with Emma out.”

Dominick had an in impressive game Monday in a 56-45 loss to Penn-Trafford, scoring 21 points.

She is a Pitt-Johnstown commit.

Rocco nets 1,000th

Trafford’s Alayna Rocco, a junior point guard at North Catholic, scored her 1,000th career point Monday in a 56-38 win at Knoch.

Rocco, a Harvard commit, is the daughter of North Catholic boys coach Jim Rocco, who used to coach the Penn-Trafford boys and teaches forensic science at Penn-Trafford.

Schneck to Grove City

Norwin senior guard-forward Savannah Schneck committed to play at Grove City, a Division III program in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

Schneck is a key reserve for the Lady Knights, who are ranked No. 1 in WPIAL Class 6A.

She overcame two ACL surgeries to her left knee to return to the court this season.

Nothing but net

The PA Swoosh AAU team has quite the local flavor.

It features a number of area standouts.

The team, coached by Tom Olesky, features four Norwin girls in Kendall Williams, Lauren Palangio, Ava Kobus and Bailey Snowberger as well as Olivia Pepple of Penn-Trafford and Abbie Johns of Kiski Area.

And don’t forget a player who has plagued the success of some local teams in McKeesport’s Rachael Manfredo.

Norwin and McKeesport are both No. 1-ranked teams, in 6A and 5A.

Games to watch

Section play continues throughout the WPIAL on Thursday night. Some notable local matchups include Hempfield at North Allegheny (Section 1-6A), Woodland Hills at Franklin Regional (1-5A), Oakland Catholic at Latrobe (3-5A), Greensburg Salem at Derry (1-4A) and West Mifflin at Belle Vernon (3-4A).

On Monday, Franklin Regional visits Plum in another important game in Section 1-5A.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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